AAA Four Diamond Resort Overlooking the Pacific Ocean
In the 1950s, Pismo Beach was known as the “Clam Capital of the World” because there were so many bivalves along the shore they could be harvested with plows. Today, the seaside town is better known for leisure activities, miles of clean coastline, and the 1,200-foot Pismo Pier, ideal for sightseeing. Steps away from the beach, the upscale Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa overlooks the Pacific Ocean from a spot adorned with lush lawns, palm trees, and a brick path winding along the shoreline.
Each one-bedroom non-ocean-view suite features a fully equipped kitchen with granite countertops and a secluded master bedroom with a walk-in closet. There’s a fireplace in the spacious living room and a private patio with deck chairs. Appliances are stainless steel, the furniture is made of wood, and the soothing earth-tone palette is softly lit by recessed and pendant lighting fixtures.
There are plenty of ways to unwind at the resort—you can take a dip in the heated infinity-edge saline pool (closed December 1–22), rent bicycles and take a spin along the path overlooking the ocean, or have a hot-stone massage at the onsite spa.
When you’re hungry, head down to Lido at Dolphin Bay, where Executive Chef Jacob Moss prepares farm-to-table Californian cuisine served amid sweeping views of the Pacific. The menu changes seasonally and annually, but past offerings have included Morro Bay oysters on the half shell and Maple Leaf Farms duck with apple-fig chutney.
Pismo Beach, California: Surf Town Close to Wine Country
Pismo Beach is a small city with the recipe for classic California coast appeal: sun, sand, surf and a backdrop of hills overlooking a valley of vineyards. Sitting halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, the city marks the beginning of a 23-mile stretch of shoreline. Weather is key to the beach culture here; Pismo Beach enjoys 315 days of sunshine each year and temperatures ranging from 66 to 84 degrees. Year-round, surfers descend on the coast along with vacationers looking to get tans. Visitors can also explore isolated dunes on the southern end of town, or fish off the central pier, which features an arcade and bowling alley as well.
The warm weather and misty mornings of this coastal stretch also provide great conditions for winemaking in the nearby Edna Valley. With one of California’s longest growing seasons, the Edna Valley AVA has some of the region’s best wineries, producing large quantities of chardonnay, pinot noir, and syrah.